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Cleaning medal ribbons


SFayers
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Hi folks,

I've seen plenty of posts regarding the cleaning of medals, but I haven't found anything on cleaning (or not!) medal ribbons.

I have a small collection of medals. Most of these have original ribbons, however some of these are extremely grubby (and some quite worn and shabby!). I'm wanting to mount the medals for display at some point soon, so I was wondering if any of the Pals out there had any suggestions?

cheers

Steve

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Hi,

I'd reckon not - however tempted.

Unless the medal experts here have a particular technique

The reason for this is many many years ago, when I was too young to consider that dye will run, I attempted the above. The dye will run, and even with very gentle treatment.

hope this helps

regards

doogal

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Old Silk Ribbons do not take kindly to any form of Wet Cleaning,The sheen is lost,as is the inert "stiffness" of the Ribbon,consequently they are really best left alone,or replaced if you so wish,though some frown on this,preferring the "As Is" Look {though if the Medals were worn for any length of time the Ribbons would probably have been replaced a Couple of times anyway}It is really a matter of personal preference.

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Hi Steve.

In my opinion, the best thing to do is - Turn the ribbons "inside - out".

This will probably be enough to "revive" their appearance for display.

However, as Harry said, replacing them is an option, and this doesn't detract from the value. The only thing is finding quality replacements that actually look as good as the real items, especially the WW1 silk ribbons.

Mark

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I tend to keep the original ribbons on the medal if they aren't being displayed.

If you intend to display pairs/trios etc, then new ribbon looks better, but keep the old ribbon in a safe place until such time that the displayed medals are no longer hanging on the wall.

The "as is" choice is commendable, but the choice is down to the individual, especially when it comes to storage/display. This is the type of debate that ran & ran when we couldn't make up our minds on the cleaning of medals (or not) :ph34r:

Les.

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Steve,

As mentioned already, the rights and wrongs of cleaning anything to do with medals is hotly debated and subject to personal preference. There are numerous threads on this subject already. However, as already stated, medal ribbons do NOT lend themselves to be wetted at all. The dye will most definitely run is water is used. However a trick could be to put the a ribbon in the pocket of an article being dry cleaned. I have never tried this - have only just thought of it infact - so if you would care to trial it for us I expect the entire forum would be keen to know how it turns out. Best to let the cleaners know though, otherwise they might discover it (if they are diligent and check pockets before washing) and throw it out!

Regards

Steve

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It depends how you want to display them, with mine on display i have put replacement ribbons on the medal and mounted the original underneath the medal. You therefore get a 'court mounted' and the original (grubby, raggy) ribbon is still in the frame, with the medal but is not obviously a focal point.

works for me.

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I tried washing a Star ribbon recently, it worked reasonably well, but the 'watermark' disappeared. I have found the best route is to buy original ribbons from ebay/speedbid. I always bid for ribbons as it is very hard to get hold of good contemporary ones. I did buy a set recently for a trio for £20 - a lot I know but look at them. Unused mint originals - in my view it doesn't get any better.

regards

post-23-1106088373.jpg

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Many thanks for the feed-back guys,

Replacement ribbons for display purposes sounds the best way forward. However, although I've seen (and bought) replacement original trio ribbons before - can anyone tell me where I could obtain period ribbon for a Military Medal?

cheers

Steve

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- can anyone tell me where I could obtain period ribbon for a Military Medal?

Have you an Aged Gents Outfitters~Haberdashers In Your Locale,they sometimes Carried a Stock of Ribbons Or may have some Old Stock It is always worth asking,Or Some of the Dealers Might be able to source you a Reasonable length of Ribbon,if you ask nicely! ;)

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it is very hard to get hold of good contemporary ones.

Just to back-up DCLI, and Myself (above).

Here is a set of Reproduction ribbons, although they are nice enough, and even have a "slight" silk sheen and "watermark" to them.

They aren't even in the same league as the original ones in DCLI's post.

post-23-1106151593.jpg

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If you go to the National Archives at Kew in the microfilm room, they have some replica WW1 medals mounted on the wall by the leaflets on researching WW1 servicemen. I was on my second visit to that room when I twigged what the medals were meant to be - they looked so unlike the originals I've seen I hadn't recognised them.

I personally would leave them as they are - my grandfather's are held together with brass paperclips where he cut bits out of them for his Home Guard uniform - or try to find a length of original ribbon. Certainly for the Victory Medal, I don't think a new "repro" ribbon is worth it unless the old ribbon has been lost.

Adrian

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